The Retro Highlight Trend We’re Importing From London

Megan Decker

In 2019, hair color is all about subtlety —naturally blended balayage and babylights for sparkly dimension. But like the clunky Dr. Martens boots that have somehow found their way to the front of your closet for the first time since high school, '90s highlights — un-delicate, chunky, face-framing streaks à la Ginger Spice — are popular once again.

Actually, the iconic British girl band is an apt point of reference, considering the striped highlight made a resurgence in the UK last year. According to London-based colorist Bryony Cairns of Larry King Salon, the "rogue" highlight is a nod to '90s feminism. "Rogue hair color is an extreme adaptation on the face frame," Cairns explains. "Most commonly, the highlight is bleached blonde, but can totally be adapted to any other color, too. Our clients think of it as the hair equivalent to power dressing, because it's a strong, dramatic look that draws inspiration from confident women, like Drew Barrymore and the Spice Girls."

Now, we're starting to see a variation of the rogue streak pop up on American celebrities, like Beyoncé and Jackie Aina. To see how the chunky-gone-chic highlight reads up close, scroll ahead. Let it inspire you to try the retro technique — in a cotton-candy pink fringe or a platinum streak — at your next appointment.

Cairns tells us rogue blonde can be applied over any base shade — but the contrast of light platinum over a black root makes the look bold and high-drama. Photo Courtesy Of Larry King Salon

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